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Case Study : Abu Dhabi government builds one-of-a-kind integrated customer service platform using Microsoft Dynamics 365

Established to lead excellence in government services, Abu Dhabi Digital Authority (ADDA) strives to lead the digital future of Abu Dhabi. Taking advantage of Microsoft Dynamics 365, Power BI, and Azure solutions, TAMM integrates Abu Dhabi government services to provide communities and businesses with a seamless, proactive, and personalized customer experience, one that promises to change the way UAE citizens and residents interact with their government for the better.

Abu Dhabi as a digital innovation destination

Abu Dhabi Digital Authority (ADDA) has a vision that offers a new way of interacting with the citizens and residents in Abu Dhabi and throughout the world. ADDA’s vision embraces technology that delivers value through innovation and service excellence. ADDA is building a digital hub that integrates Abu Dhabi’s 1,600 government and business services with over 55 entities into one central platform. This modernizing journey toward global competitiveness means citizens can look forward to a smarter, happier future with better quality of life—all thanks to the TAMM integrated services platform.

Digital smart government, powered by Microsoft

The TAMM integrated service platform is an intelligent customer support center. Taking advantage of Microsoft Dynamics 365, Power BI, and Azure solutions, TAMM unifies Abu Dhabi’s government and business services into 80 integrated journeys. This integration merges a 360-degree view of customers’ information and their interactions across the government into a seamless, proactive, and personalized customer experience. It promises to completely revolutionize the way citizens interact with the government.

Dynamics 365 creates a seamless omni-channel experience. The portal provides United Arab Emirates (UAE) citizens, residents, and visitors with a range of government services through one access point. Operating with Azure and AI increases efficiency and improve customer experience through fast, agile responses to citizen information requests. It provides stakeholders and field workers with decision-making capabilities through in-depth business intelligence on customer behavior.

“Through Power BI, we are now able to ensure that all government data is viewed, including our services that are unified and user-centric,” explains Fatima Al Obeidli, Director – Contact Center Business Management Department at ADDA. “This drives our commitment to superior customer service. The Power BI unified dashboard replaces the multiple reports of the past, ensuring one-of-a-kind customer service experience.”

Microsoft’s customer-first approach has been proven by its profound understanding of ADDA’s vision. “The aim is to establish a unique service model for Abu Dhabi government. Microsoft is a trusted partner, providing us with tools and mechanisms that empower us to lead the digital future of Abu Dhabi,” explains H.E. Saeed Al Mulla, Director, Government Services at ADDA.

Powered by innovation, inspired by society

“By leading with a modern, reliable, and integrated digital system that serves all walks of life in society, ADDA supports the business environment, attracts more investments into Abu Dhabi, and enhances the Emirate’s global competitiveness,“ says Ali Nimer, Strategy Advisor to the Director General and Head of Digital Excellence Office at ADDA.

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How smart manufacturing can optimize your factories for the new era

The focus of every industrial revolution has been increasing the productivity of production systems. The fourth industrial revolution is here, and it’s seeking to improve both production and management systems. Digital transformation driven by smart manufacturing (also known as Industry 4.0) is the basis of this latest one – creating opportunities to achieve levels of productivity and specialization not previously possible.

Combining data generated through the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and analytics creates a new set of capabilities known as predictive maintenance and quality. Fueled by smart manufacturing, these new capabilities are changing the way we do and see business, helping recognizing patterns and predicting failures or product quality issues before they happen.

Introducing the new industrial IoT platform

Most factories are composed of operation technology (OT) assets such as machines, equipment lines and robotic devices that aren’t always connected. The current trend is leaning toward smart manufacturing with a more IT-based factory floor to help save time, labor, cost and maintenance and upkeep. With OT and IT converging, the IIoT platform is emerging as a new, innovative concept for smart manufacturing with artificial intelligence (AI)-based technologies, including analytics, big data and cognitive manufacturing.

Smart manufacturing can spur a new surge of manufacturing productivity.

Targeting the pain points for key manufacturing personnel

In order to understand the impact of Industry 4.0 solutions, we must examine the key people involved in all aspects of a factory. True transformation happens when all unique challenges and each pain point is targeted.

Transforming your factory with a three-tiered architecture solution from IBM

Keeping the needs of different types of workers in mind and using our extensive manufacturing experience, IBM developed a three-tiered distributed architecture to implement smart manufacturing more efficiently. The model addresses the autonomy and self-sufficiency requirements of each production site and balances the workload between the three tiers.

Mapping IBM’s three-tiered architecture.
  1. Edge level. The most physical part of the factory where product-related activities are performed.
  2. Plant or factory level. Where plant and local activities are orchestrated and connected.
  3. Enterprise level. Where analysis of all levels of information happens, and information storage for visualization and analytics is provided.

Leveraging the three architecture tiers to drive performance

IBM offers a suite of enterprise asset management (EAM) solutions to help drive cost savings and operational efficiency across the factory value chain. The portfolio of EAM solutions from IBM analyzes a variety of information from workflows, context and the environment to drive quality and enhance operations and decision making. The portfolio of EAM solutions from IBM helps deliver a smart manufacturing transformation.

Production quality insights use IoT and cognitive capabilities to sense, communicate and self- diagnose issues to optimize each factory’s performance and reduce unnecessary downtime. Insights help reduce unplanned downtime.

Microsoft Azure Cloud Services, Uncategorized

Advancing Azure service quality with artificial intelligence: AIOps

We are going to share our vision on the importance of infusing AI into our cloud platform and DevOps process. Gartner referred to something similar as AIOps (pronounced “AI Ops”) and this has become the common term that we use internally, albeit with a larger scope. Today’s post is just the start, as we intend to provide regular updates to share our adoption stories of using AI technologies to support how we build and operate Azure at scale.

Why AIOps?

There are two unique characteristics of cloud services:

  • The ever-increasing scale and complexity of the cloud platform and systems
  • The ever-changing needs of customers, partners, and their workloads

To build and operate reliable cloud services during this constant state of flux, and to do so as efficiently and effectively as possible, our cloud engineers (including thousands of Azure developers, operations engineers, customer support engineers, and program managers) heavily rely on data to make decisions and take actions. Furthermore, many of these decisions and actions need to be executed automatically as an integral part of our cloud services or our DevOps processes. Streamlining the path from data to decisions to actions involves identifying patterns in the data, reasoning, and making predictions based on historical data, then recommending or even taking actions based on the insights derived from all that underlying data.

 Infusing AI into cloud platform and DevOps – with AI at the center of Customers, Engineering, and Services.
Figure 1. Infusing AI into cloud platform and DevOps.

The AIOps vision

AIOps has started to transform the cloud business by improving service quality and customer experience at scale while boosting engineers’ productivity with intelligent tools, driving continuous cost optimization, and ultimately improving the reliability, performance, and efficiency of the platform itself. When we invest in advancing AIOps and related technologies, we see this ultimately provides value in several ways:

  • Higher service quality and efficiency: Cloud services will have built-in capabilities of self-monitoring, self-adapting, and self-healing, all with minimal human intervention. Platform-level automation powered by such intelligence will improve service quality (including reliability, and availability, and performance), and service efficiency to deliver the best possible customer experience.
  • Higher DevOps productivity: With the automation power of AI and ML, engineers are released from the toil of investigating repeated issues, manually operating and supporting their services, and can instead focus on solving new problems, building new functionality, and work that more directly impacts the customer and partner experience. In practice, AIOps empowers developers and engineers with insights to avoid looking at raw data, thereby improving engineer productivity.
  • Higher customer satisfaction: AIOps solutions play a critical role in enabling customers to use, maintain, and troubleshoot their workloads on top of our cloud services as easily as possible. We endeavor to use AIOps to understand customer needs better, in some cases to identify potential pain points and proactively reach out as needed. Data-driven insights into customer workload behavior could flag when Microsoft or the customer needs to take action to prevent issues or apply workarounds. Ultimately, the goal is to improve satisfaction by quickly identifying, mitigating, and fixing issues.

 

AI for Cloud: AI Ops and AI-Serving Platform showing example use cases in AI for Systems, AI for DevOps, and AI for Customers.

Figure 2. AI for Cloud: AIOps and AI-Serving Platform.

AIOps

Moving beyond our vision, we wanted to start by briefly summarizing our general methodology for building AIOps solutions. A solution in this space always starts with data—measurements of systems, customers, and processes—as the key of any AIOps solution is distilling insights about system behavior, customer behaviors, and DevOps artifacts and processes. The insights could include identifying a problem that is happening now (detect), why it’s happening (diagnose), what will happen in the future (predict), and how to improve (optimize, adjust, and mitigate). Such insights should always be associated with business metrics—customer satisfaction, system quality, and DevOps productivity—and drive actions in line with prioritization determined by the business impact. The actions will also be fed back into the system and process. This feedback could be fully automated (infused into the system) or with humans in the loop (infused into the DevOps process). This overall methodology guided us to build AIOps solutions in three pillars.

AIOps methodologies: Data (Customer/System/DevOps), insights (Detect/Diagnose/Predict/Optimize), and actions (Mitigate/Avert future pain/Optimize usage config/Improve architecture & process).
Figure 3. AIOps methodologies: Data, insights, and actions.

AI for systems

Today, we’re introducing several AIOps solutions that are already in use and supporting Azure behind the scenes. The goal is to automate system management to reduce human intervention. As a result, this helps to reduce operational costs, improve system efficiency, and increase customer satisfaction. These solutions have already contributed significantly to the Azure platform availability improvements, especially for Azure IaaS virtual machines (VMs). AIOps solutions contributed in several ways including protecting customers’ workload from host failures through hardware failure prediction and proactive actions like live migration and Project Tardigrade and pre-provisioning VMs to shorten VM creation time.

Of course, engineering improvements and ongoing system innovation also play important roles in the continuous improvement of platform reliability.

  • Hardware Failure Prediction is to protect cloud customers from interruptions caused by hardware failures.  Microsoft Research and Azure have built a disk failure prediction solution for Azure Compute, triggering the live migration of customer VMs from predicted-to-fail nodes to healthy nodes. We also expanded the prediction to other types of hardware issues including memory and networking router failures. This enables us to perform predictive maintenance for better availability.
  • Pre-Provisioning Service in Azure brings VM deployment reliability and latency benefits by creating pre-provisioned VMs. Pre-provisioned VMs are pre-created and partially configured VMs ahead of customer requests for VMs. As we described in the IJCAI 2020 publication, As we described in the AAAI-20 keynote mentioned above,  the Pre-Provisioning Service leverages a prediction engine to predict VM configurations and the number of VMs per configuration to pre-create. This prediction engine applies dynamic models that are trained based on historical and current deployment behaviors and predicts future deployments. Pre-Provisioning Service uses this prediction to create and manage VM pools per VM configuration. Pre-Provisioning Service resizes the pool of VMs by destroying or adding VMs as prescribed by the latest predictions. Once a VM matching the customer’s request is identified, the VM is assigned from the pre-created pool to the customer’s subscription.

AI for DevOps

AI can boost engineering productivity and help in shipping high-quality services with speed. Below are a few examples of AI for DevOps solutions.

  • Incident management is an important aspect of cloud service management—identifying and mitigating rare but inevitable platform outages. A typical incident management procedure consists of multiple stages including detection, engagement, and mitigation stages. Time spent in each stage is used as a Key Performance Indicator (KPI) to measure and drive rapid issue resolution. KPIs include time to detect (TTD), time to engage (TTE), and time to mitigate (TTM).

 Incident management procedures including Time to Detect (TTD), Time to Engage (TTE), and Time to Mitigate (TTM).
Figure 4. Incident management procedures.

As shared in AIOps Innovations in Incident Management for Cloud Services at the AAAI-20 conference, we have developed AI-based solutions that enable engineers not only to detect issues early but also to identify the right team(s) to engage and therefore mitigate as quickly as possible. Tight integration into the platform enables end-to-end touchless mitigation for some scenarios, which considerably reduces customer impact and therefore improves the overall customer experience.

  • Anomaly Detection provides an end-to-end monitoring and anomaly detection solution for Azure IaaS. The detection solution targets a broad spectrum of anomaly patterns that includes not only generic patterns defined by thresholds, but also patterns which are typically more difficult to detect such as leaking patterns (for example, memory leaks) and emerging patterns (not a spike, but increasing with fluctuations over a longer term). Insights generated by the anomaly detection solutions are injected into the existing Azure DevOps platform and processes, for example, alerting through the telemetry platform, incident management platform, and, in some cases, triggering automated communications to impacted customers. This helps us detect issues as early as possible.

For an example that has already made its way into a customer-facing feature, Dynamic Threshold is an ML-based anomaly detection model. It is a feature of Azure Monitor used through the Azure portal or through the ARM API. Dynamic Threshold allows users to tune their detection sensitivity, including specifying how many violation points will trigger a monitoring alert.

  • Safe Deployment serves as an intelligent global “watchdog” for the safe rollout of Azure infrastructure components. We built a system, code name Gandalf, that analyzes temporal and spatial correlation to capture latent issues that happened hours or even days after the rollout. This helps to identify suspicious rollouts (during a sea of ongoing rollouts), which is common for Azure scenarios, and helps prevent the issue propagating and therefore prevents impact to additional customers.

AI for customers

To improve the Azure customer experience, we have been developing AI solutions to power the full lifecycle of customer management. For example, a decision support system has been developed to guide customers towards the best selection of support resources by leveraging the customer’s service selection and verbatim summary of the problem experienced. This helps shorten the time it takes to get customers and partners the right guidance and support that they need.

AI-serving platform

To achieve greater efficiencies in managing a global-scale cloud, we have been investing in building systems that support using AI to optimize cloud resource usage and therefore the customer experience. One example is Resource Central (RC), an AI-serving platform for Azure that we described in Communications of the ACM. It collects telemetry from Azure containers and servers, learns from their prior behaviors, and, when requested, produces predictions of their future behaviors. We are already using RC to predict many characteristics of Azure Compute workloads accurately, including resource procurement and allocation, all of which helps to improve system performance and efficiency.

Looking towards the future

We have shared our vision of AI infusion into the Azure platform and our DevOps processes and highlighted several solutions that are already in use to improve service quality across a range of areas. Look to us to share more details of our internal AI and ML solutions for even more intelligent cloud management in the future. We’re confident that these are the right investment solutions to improve our effectiveness and efficiency as a cloud provider, including improving the reliability and performance of the Azure platform itself.

 

Note blog reference: https://azure.microsoft.com/en-in/blog/advancing-azure-service-quality-with-artificial-intelligence-aiops/

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Is your business ready to take supply chain management to the next level?

When you lack deep visibility and insight into your supply chain, you leave money on the table

It turns out what you don’t know as a manufacturer can and will hurt you. For too long, manufacturers have settled for siloed and inconsistent information, as well as manual processes, to understand and manage their supply chain. Why? Because for a long time, these systems were good enough to keep production going.

But plenty of manufacturers don’t want to settle for good enough. IDC predicts that by 2019, 50% of manufacturing supply chains will have benefited from digital transformation, and the remainder will be held back by outdated business models or functional structures. Smart manufacturers understand that supply chain transformation is necessary. They are connecting assets across their factories, gaining visibility into their supply chain, and acting on insights from increased visibility to address inefficiency, as well as increase customer satisfaction and margins.

Don’t accept operational inefficiencies as a limit on your business

Supply chain management is complex, so doing it right requires a solution that simplifies and consolidates disparate information, while retaining flexibility. Data from the sales process, suppliers, order fulfillment, product performance, and customer service all matter for a full understanding of the supply chain. The core tools for accomplishing this fall into three categories: IoT-enabled visibility and services, powerful analytics, and cloud-delivered data visualizations.

Like many aspects of manufacturing, IoT is the starting point. The best way to lower production costs is by using a single IoT-friendly platform to integrate back and front office processes. Using IoT-based modeling to create digital twins, manufacturers can understand in real-time the amount of wear and tear on parts and adjust designs in response. This insight can help identify simple inefficiencies like sourcing a part from the company that’s always supplied it, rather than buying a similarly-performing part at a lower cost from another supplier.

Powerful analytics is the next step in transforming your supply chain. A truly intelligent system for supply chain management dynamically adjusts distribution, as well as production, to accelerate the speed of delivery. By using built-in analytics and machine learning, public data like weather conditions can be used to create richer, more accurate schedules and delivery forecasts. On top of that, opportunities to consolidate or expedite shipments can be automatically identified using artificial intelligence—passing lower shipping and order fulfillment costs on to customers.

Finally, consolidating all this information won’t completely optimize your supply chain without the ability to easily visualize and manage it. That’s why a real-time and mobile-delivered view is so crucial. Understanding how to solve problems is hard enough; there’s no need to complicate it further by using different systems to identify where problems are occurring. Decision makers on the factory floor or in global headquarters need instant access to relevant information, and the collaborative power to communicate with or work alongside employees anywhere in the world. These investments in operations put manufacturers in position to embrace new technology and adjust to whatever business challenges they may be facing.

Get the tools to transform with Microsoft Dynamics 365

The power of a supply chain management and operations platform that combines all these capabilities at cloud speed and scale is obvious. Companies positioned to digitally transform their supply chains will see accelerated time to market and reduced cost to enter new markets or scale new lines of business. Microsoft supports flexibility in deployment, enabling you to leverage existing investments while expanding with either a cloud or a hybrid model that includes both on-prem and cloud systems. That can shorten deployment from months to days and ensure security and analytics capabilities are consistent across every location and tuned appropriately for every team.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 ends the artificial separation of ERP and CRM and makes it easy for employees to collaborate and even role-switch to engage customers or address supply chain issues. Only Dynamics 365 unites the front office and the back office with a single end-to-end system for managing every aspect of your business, all backed by industry-leading enterprise cloud. That means manufacturers can develop at the pace and scale that’s right for them, while taking advantage of current investments such as existing productivity and technology stacks. With Microsoft, consistent development practices and R&D investments combine to offer manufacturers rich analytics, embedded intelligence, partner-created applications, and the ability to collaborate worldwide.

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Why Face Mask Detection System is Recommended for All Organisations

The world is struggling with Covid-19 pandemic and are so many essential equipments needed to combat against Corona virus. One of such most essential is Face Mask and mask was not mandatory for everyone but as the day surpasses scientist and Doctors have recommended everyone to wear the mask. Therefore to detect whether a person is wearing Face Mask or not, there are detection technique. Face Mask Detection Platform utilizes Artificial Network to identify if a person does/doesn’t wear a mask. The application can be associated with any current or new IP cameras to identify individuals with/without a mask.

Applications of Face Mask Detection System

There are several applications of face mask detection. Which includes the applications which are specific to Covid-19 and others are not related to Covid-19. So let us take a look at all the applications of Face Mask Detection.

1- Metro

We have seen in many metro station there is a huge crowd to onboard the train and people would eventually come nearby to each other to board the train, anyhow there will be more security around social distancing but people wearing mask will be most paramount one and to detect this we can use existing camera in trains and platform to take care of violators who is not wearing mask.

2- Airports

The Face Mask Detection System can be utilized at airports to recognize tourists/individual without veils. Face information of tourists can be caught in the system at the passageway. On the off chance that a tourist is seen as without a face cover, their image is sent to the airport authorities so they could make fast move. If the individual’s face is stored in the database, for example the face of any worker of an airport, an alert can be sent to the person’s phone directly.

3- Offices

The Face Mask Detection System can be utilized at office area to recognize if employees are keeping up safety standards at work. It screens employees without masks and sends them a suggestion to wear a cover. The reports can be downloaded or sent an email toward the day’s end to catch individuals who are
not consenting to the guidelines or the prerequisites

4- Educational Institutes

In educational institutes especially where the number of children is more, it is highly recommended to wear face mask for children. Now sometimes they throw away the masks and that’s very dangerous for them as it may tends to viral infection. So if we can use face mask detection in classrooms it will yield a great result.

So via this blog we have seen the different types of application of Face Mask Detection technique. Hope this will help us to understand the importance of wearing masks. We wish you all a good health and hope we will be able to a corona-free world sooner.

So to summarize, Trident Information systems Pvt Ltd’s Face Mask Detection System is going to be the leading technology in both retail and corporate sectors as well. In this scenario of Covid-19, a low investment Face Mask Detection it is here to stay for a long time. Also for Bank, Educational institute or for any other commercial, industrial or retail application of Face Mask Detection or any computer vision, do not hesitate to contact us.

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How Manufacturing Industry Transformed using Microsoft Dynamics 365

The future of manufacturing will be defined by the quality of investments companies are making today

In the not too distant past, efforts in manufacturing to optimize productivity and increase customer satisfaction were viewed as separate endeavors. Today, the convergence of physical and digital trends is disrupting these kinds of assumptions.

Manufacturers today care about integrated digital and physical systems, improved visibility, increased efficiency, additional flexibility, and lower costs. They want to connect equipment and factories, leveraging data from the factory floor to the customer call center to improve every aspect of their operations.

But this is just the beginning. Digitization is fundamentally changing the way manufacturers do business, enabling a customer-centric approach while optimizing operations. Digitally empowered manufacturers engage customers throughout the product lifecycle from design to field service. They sell value-add services to complement the product sales, opening new revenue streams and strengthening their customer relationships. And they are revolutionizing delivery of these differentiated services, using technology like augmented reality to combine the eyes of a technician in the field with the insights of an expert back at headquarters.

Capitalizing on these trends isn’t limited to large, well-resourced manufacturers. Across all kinds of manufacturing operations, the opportunity to digitize and transform your business has never been more accessible.

Imagine your business transformed

The Microsoft vision for supporting digital manufacturing embraces the seismic shifts in the industry today. We’ve created solutions that provide a unified and flexible approach across front office and production floor processes. Our approach enables transformation in six ways:

 

Optimize supply chain operations through better visibility and collaboration

By collecting, integrating, and visualizing global supply chain data worldwide, manufacturers gain better visibility into their operations from production to sales. For example, one of the world’s largest industrial automation firms found that by automating the collection and analysis of data from remote installations across the petroleum supply chain, they strengthened their competitive advantage with a faster time to market. Improved access to supply chain data is also the basis for better collaboration across production, supply, service, and sales. 

Streamline the management of assets, products, and production

With a consolidated view that unifies process oversight and provides real-time insight, manufacturers can institutionalize efficiency gains and use connected devices to monitor and resolve issues remotely. One leading manufacturer of industrial robots enabled 24-hour continuous uptime using this approach. The additional insights into production and customer usage also allow manufacturers to provide value-added services like ongoing monitoring and proactive support.

Engage customers in powerful new ways

To deliver personalized and contextual engagement across any channel, manufacturers must provide customers with more visibility and build trust through fast and convenient responses. This engagement approach is built on a combination of predictive analytics, the ability  to deliver value-added services at scale, and guided or self-directed service that’s relevant to customer needs. With the implementation of a connected platform for sales through service, a leading home technology manufacturer not only solved potential problems remotely before customers ever felt the impact, but provided custom differentiated offerings based on unique customer usage and purchasing history.

 Transform service centers into profit centers

Thanks to the ever-decreasing cost of IoT sensors, sophisticated mobile devices, and cloud-based data aggregation, manufacturers can improve service quality and margins by offering remote monitoring and proactive maintenance services that supplement break/fix support. By more intelligently coordinating technicians equipped with mobile and virtual reality tools, companies can leverage existing expertise and minimize costly engagements. A leading tire service and manufacturing company found that by combining customer records, technician availability, and back-end inventory in a single mobile-friendly system, it could provide a seamless user experience as well as improve its service delivery.

 

understand their business more deeply, from customer usage through supply chain sourcing and production. With IoT-enabled parts, assets, and products, manufacturers can gain the insights needed to innovate. Data from connected products and equipment can empower developers, engineers, and technicians to collaborate. For example, teams can identify overengineered or faulty components and track product usage in the field to improve future designs. When a leading information and communication technology company implemented remote monitoring, they decreased time to production as well as accelerated the cycle of innovation using a data-driven approach.

Empower employees to work more effectively

When a company can provide 360-degree views of customer assets and work order history, technicians are empowered by a better understanding of not only the job in front of them, but of other similar and successful field service engagements. This goes hand in hand with empowering service agents to provide instant feedback, using machine learning to find and follow similar cases for successful troubleshooting, and scheduling a visit or evaluation. A leading auto manufacturer wanted to save money by unifying their siloed customer service and customer engagement while providing employees with better tools to understand customer sentiment. To accomplish this, it implemented a system to connect production and project management with their customer relationship management systems in order to deliver personalized service and recommendations to their customers. 

Introducing Microsoft Dynamics 365

For manufacturers, Microsoft Dynamics 365 ends the artificial divide between CRM and ERP systems and supplements necessary capabilities with rich analytics, embedded intelligence, and the convenience people expect from consumer apps on their phone or tablet. Dynamics 365 unites the front office and the back office with a single end-to-end system for managing every aspect of your business, at the pace and scale that’s right for you. Digital transformation isn’t accomplished overnight and leveraging current investments is a key component of any successful approach. With Microsoft, you can optimize across all your processes while laying the foundation for connecting advanced technology in the future.

 

Blog reference: https://cloudblogs.microsoft.com/dynamics365/bdm/2017/05/30/manufacturing-transformed-microsoft-dynamics-365
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COVID-19 Solutions: An approach towards tackling the situation with AI

The COVID-19 outbreak has challenged the whole world, specifically targeting the health, cleanliness and the economic aspect of our daily lives. Research is in progress in many parts of the world at its best pace, to defeat the virus and help bring back our carefree living conditions. The virus is teaching the world, directing each of our working world around the essential and the optional part of our daily lives. We too have learned our part of the lesson, and have started working towards the development of essential services that can help through and beyond our fight against such diseases.

Understanding the situation

During our long lockdown, we have understood that work cannot be paused for long, as without it, there is no future. However, given the current situation it seems easy to understand that certain amendments in our working lifestyle are a must, because mistakes and carelessness can cost lives in these times. Some generally advised amendments are:

  • Wearing a mask, in public areas can help reduce the spread, as well as it can help prevent one from such a virus.
  • Social Distancing, in public areas can reduce the spread.
  • Washing hands more often with soap and sanitisation using spirit based sanitizers.
  • Changing our habit of touching our face more often.

Face Mask Detection Systems using Vision AI

We have leveraged our AI capabilities to provide surveillance cameras the ability to automatically generate alerts if any person is found not wearing a mask. This transforms your regular CCTV camera setup into an automated check for people following the norms and rules set up and defined to help continue the work. Also, it will help generate the reports regarding the violators to security and concerned personnel to immediately make corrective actions at earliest. We are also working on ideas to help recognize the violators and directly notify them to further reduce the time taken to correct the situation.

Social Distancing using Vision AI

We have also been working on utilizing the same installed cameras to identify if social distancing rules set by the organization in authority, are being followed. Using AI to again identify the distances between people and again, generating alerts for the same to rectify the violators. The reports and dashboarding will automatically provide the details of all such activities.

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How to get ready for the rise of mobile payments in retail

The retail payment space is going through a sea change, and the Starbucks mobile payments app is a shining example of that. Despite being specific to one retailer, in 2018 the app held the title of top mobile payment app in the US. During that year, 23.4 million people aged 14 and above used the app to make a POS purchase at least once every six months, according to estimates from market research firm eMarketer. Even though in 2019 it was finally overtaken by Apple Pay, which racked up an estimated 30.3 million users compared to Starbucks’ 25.2 million, the widespread adoption of the Starbucks app shows that  retailers can get true value out of mobile payments.

Key to Starbucks’ success has been its ability to combine convenience, ease and reward in the payments experience. Its Mobile Order and Pay functionality lets users order ahead of time and skip queues. The app is also integrated with the Starbucks Rewards loyalty program, allowing customers to automatically earn points (called Stars) and start earning free drinks and food. Customers can even add a tip to purchases. The value of using this app to pay is clear and simple: you can save time and money at the till, and access rewards and special offers at the same time.

Stores upgrade their payments options

Over the last few years cash has been losing its market share to electronic payments methods, which give consumers a faster, more secure and convenient experience when shopping both in store and online.

As consumer preferences move away from traditional payment methods towards mobile checkout technologies such as Apple and Android Pay, contactless card payments and direct bank transfers, retailers must be prepared to accept these new methods.

In the US, it’s estimated that around 70% of retail stores are now equipped to accept Apple Pay and similar mobile payments apps. As more credit card companies and banks shift to chip-based cards, retailers are forced to upgrade their checkout systems and. Those who think ahead are opting for readers that can also accept payments from smartphones using near-field communication (NFC) technology. Invest in contactless payment options

Millions of consumers now have contactless-enabled cards in their wallets and mobile payment apps on their phones. This tap-and-go technology is fast becoming the norm for customers – and therefore something they expect when making a purchase. Contactless transactions are particularly popular for smaller ticket purchases in convenience stores and supermarkets, and now frequently replace cash. This kind of technology also offers many benefits to retailers, including decreased checkout times, increased card use and an improved consumer payments experience.

Combine convenience and rewards

While contactless payments are an in-store essential, retailers must also consider a holistic payments strategy across all channels to ensure they’re meeting their customers’ expectations and delivering a seamless experience. That means embracing tools and technologies that harness consumer trends around cashless payments and connect both the digital and physical, enabling customers to order ahead and pay in advance, pick up reward program points regardless of the channel they shop via, and take advantage of new “buy now, pay later” options such as Klarna and Laybuy. Being able to offer a wide variety of payment options will be critical as retailers look to build their presence in an increasingly digital marketplace that is characterized by convenience and speed.

Explore digital wallet providers

While businesses like Starbucks decided to build their own mobile app, most retailers do not need to go down this route. That’s because digital wallet providers like Apple Pay and Google Pay are already designed to make setting up mobile payments fast and affordable.

Today, there are dozens of digital wallet payment providers for retailers – and consumers – to choose from. It’s worth talking with your existing payment provider to understand what options they have available as you develop your own mobile payments and digital wallets strategy.

Be open to payments innovation

As payment solutions are transforming from purely transactional to more customer oriented, the friction of payments will continue to fade with further innovations coming to market.

Invisible payments, for example, offer consumers ultimate convenience and completely automated payment options. Although they’re still in their infancy in the retail space, they’re being driven by businesses like ride-sharing app Uber, which automatically collects payment once a customer has reached their destination. Innovative retailers such as Amazon and Dutch supermarket brand Albert Heijn are already trialing invisible payments in stores with success. These shopping concepts allow customers to simply pick up or scan the products they want and leave without having to check out. Instead, payment is automatically deducted from their account.

“Connected cars, automatic replenishment via internet of things devices, and increasingly friction-free checkout experiences at the physical point of sale are just a few of the practical applications of invisible payments,” Worldpay’s Global Payment Trends report said.

As retailers plan for the future, then, it is in their best interests to be aware of the latest payments innovations and to consider how they will play out in their industry.

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